Andy Puddicombe

Bearing witness

Bearing witness

October 15, 2017
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in Tip
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Here’s a new recommendation for you, at long last! I have tons of episodes from On Being, Good Life Project and One You Feed that I’d love to recommend for you, but I also want to give you a taste of something new. So here’s Rich Roll in conversation with Andy Puddicombe, the voice and co-founder of Headspace, the meditation app that I’ve been using for almost a year now.

I’ve just listened to a few episodes of the Rich Roll Podcast, and I will be recommending some more as time goes, but the episode with Andy was really interesting, in part because I honestly had no clue to Andy’s extremely unusual background! I might be the only one in the Western world who’s missed out on that story, but… go figure. There I was, anyway. Rich and Andy cleared that up for me though, which I am happy about. Because Andy has lived a life with a story worth telling, that’s for sure.

BoldomaticPost_Most-people-assume-that-meditI’ve never taken to meditation before. Haven’t really tried, properly, and never got interested enough to actually give it a go. And I’m quite happy about that actually, because I sure had it wrong.

Andy got it right, in this quote. That’s the mis-conception that I had. That meditation was a way to stop the inner chatter, the endless jabber, that’s accompanied me all my life.

Perhaps lucky for me, I’d already gotten an understanding of how thoughts work, how they shape the world as I experience it, and what with daily blogging (being a form of self-coaching for me) for a couple of years, I’d gotten pretty ok at stepping back from myself, bearing witness.

So when I started on the Headspace-journey, I had absolutely no wish, desire or ambition for it to help me “stop my thoughts”. Not at all. I just really enjoyed giving myself 10-15-20 minutes a day devoted to stepping back and bearing witness, just being with myself. Sometimes in absolute calm. Sometimes agitated as hell. And not getting caught up in either of those states, but rather just seeing it, seeing me, in the moment.

Anyway. Whether or not you meditate or if you really loath meditation and such mumbo-jumbo, this interview is worth listening to, in my view. And if, by chance, you get interested in the Headspace app and want to give it a go, start with the free 10-day routine, and then let me know if you want to try more. Because I have a 30-day voucher to give away to someone who want’s it! Might it be you?

In 2015 I ran a series on herothecoach.com with Sunday postings of podcasts to my liking. In 2017 I will be re-posting some of those blog posts – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations. 

 

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At the edge of understanding

February 3, 2017
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Listening to Headspace Pro pack number six. The description reads:
Headspace Pro Pack 6 focuses on your sense of me, myself and I. Learn how to step back from your identity and just experience life.

I’ve meditated to this pack several times before, but this time there’s a difference in what I hear, and how it is received, within. I am at the edge of understanding here. On the event horizon, knowing there’s something else out there, I just cannot seem to grasp it, to understand it. Or even to see it.

It’s in the small things Andy Puddicombe says, a phrase here or there, that my mind knots up, and simply cannot fathom what he’s saying. And he even says that; It can take a long time to truly experience this.

I’ve been so helped by differentiating between what I experience, and observing myself experiencing it, that the concept of letting both of those go, and simply be – to just experience. Nothing else – almost scares me. That’s what I think I did. Before. When I was swept away by my experiences, taking them, and me, so seriously. And that’s n o t what Andy is suggesting, he makes that very clear, but it’s still towards that way of experiencing experiences that my mind goes when He prompts me to let go of the identification, and be in the moment.

And again. Here I am. Writing down the observations of my Inner Observer. Most definitely a part of Me. Identifying to the fullest. It almost makes me laugh out load, as I sit here in bed, typing away. Oh well.

fully understandOne thing I am not though, and that is impatient to cross this event horizon. The need, the urge, the itch to grasp this, fully, to be able to check off the box saying I, Helena, fully understand the concept of stepping back from my identity and not cling to my sense of me, myself and I. It’s not there. There’s no need, no urge, no itch. It’s just a possible understanding. One that might come to me, or not. Perhaps this is an event horizon I will never cross. And that doesn’t bother me. Come what may, I say, and fully embody that. For this piece of the puzzle, at least. I can be more impatient with other pieces of the puzzle, wanting to fully comprehend, to embody. But not here.

“At the edge of understanding” I wrote in the title for this post. I could also have written “At the edge of my understanding”. Subtle difference, but, perhaps the way I accept my non-understanding of this, is a way of simply experiencing, rather than identifying too much with my lack of understanding. What a paradox!

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Being gentle to me – Reflection August ’16

August 27, 2016
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In my daily Headspace meditation, this morning I heard Andy Puddicombe say, in the first out of thirty sessions on the topic of stress, that stress is wanting things to be different, from how they are right now. Little did I know that shortly thereafter I would get the perfect opportunity to practice this lesson.

Reacting. Or not. Falling into the abyss of a reactive emotion. Or not.
Anger. Irritation. Frustration.

I reacted. And fell. Deep and hard.
Made good use of the angry energy though, digging for hours on end in the front yard. But at a price.

And yeah, sure, I would have liked to have been a person, earlier today, who responded with grace and humility, rather than irritation and annoyance. I didn’t though. And as I sit here reflecting, here my second training opportunity for the day arrives, served on a silver platter.

React. Or not? Fall into the abyss of a reactive emotion. Or not?
Shame. Regret. Self-contempt.

No. This time, I gently, but firmly, bid those emotions to leave by the door that I leave open for then. And as they make their way over there – slowly, going in circles, hoping I will let up and start to engage with them despite having bid them good bye – I take the opportunity instead to reflect with a gentle perspective upon the day. On the choices I made, and the consequences those choices led to. Accepting. Fully. The outcomes that serves me – having done a really good day’s work in the front yard at the top of the list – as well as the ones that clearly doesn’t serve me – relationships bruised by me falling into the abyss, dragging others down there with me in the fall.cooling summer evening

A stressful situation? Well. I guess that’s the thing. It could be. But I don’t choose to want things to be different, from how they are right now. Because what was, is past. And I cannot turn back time, and retrace my steps, making other choices that those I did. So no, I sit here, in the cooling summer evening, accepting what is. Accepting what was. The only thing I can do, is apologize for my behavior, and learn from the happenings of the day. When a similar situation arise in the future, I might be able to make a different choice from the get-go, one with fewer non-serving outcomes. Or not. Regardless, I chose to be gentle to me. Because the opposite, being harsh and judgmental towards myself, doesn’t make life better for anyone.

This is what being gentle to me means in the month of August 2016. What does it mean to you?

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. I will be reflecting on a monthly basis on what that means to me, in the moment, and this is one of those reflections. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future reflections.

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